Oddball Motion Pictures’ Behen Hogi Teri (UA) is a love story set in Lucknow.

The city is known for its elders who force guys to get rakhis tied around their wrist by girls of the locality so that the boys can’t flirt with them as they would then become their deemed sisters.

Gattu Nautiyal (Rajkumar Rao) is one such boy who lives in Lucknow and is in love with his neighbour, Binny Arora (Shruti Haasan). Unaware of their budding romance, Binny’s family members treat Gattu like one of their own and, in fact, often assign him duties which they would normally assign to the son/brother of the house. Binny also loves Gattu but she is not happy with the lack of courage he often displays. Gattu’s bosom pal is Bhoora (Herry Tangri) who is also the milkman of Binny’s family and many other families in the neighbourhood.

Due to a horrible misunderstanding, word spreads that Binny is having an affair with Bhoora. Even Gattu doesn’t have the courage to spell out that Binny is in love with him rather than Bhoora. Binny’s elder brother (Ninad Kamat) is livid. Not only does he fire his sister but he also slaps Bhoora for his audacity to romance his younger sister. Bhoora’s family also gets wind of the talk of the town, and the elders in the family now make it an ego issue. They will hear of nothing but marriage of Bhoora with Binny. Obviously, Binny’s brother won’t even dream of marrying his sister to a boy who hails from a family where crime is normal. The battle lines are now drawn between Bhoora’s family – consisting, among others, of his father (Gulshan Grover) and uncle (Ranjeet) – and Binny’s family. Supporting Binny’s brother is Gattu’s father (Darshan Jariwala). Neither Gattu’s father nor Binny’s brother nor anybody else is aware that the romance that’s brew­ing is between Gattu and Binny. Worse still, Binny is so put off by Gattu’s lack of courage that she actually decides to go ahead with the groom, Rahul (Gautam Gulati), selected for her by the family.

What happens finally? Does Binny marry Gattu or Bhoora or Rahul? Do Bhoora’s father and uncle come to claim Binny’s hand in marriage? Does Gattu tell everybody that he loves Binny as a boyfriend rather than as a brother?

Vinit Vyas and Ajay K. Pannalal have penned a slice-of-life story with romance as the base. The non-metro-city mentality of the people is beautifully portrayed. Their screenplay is both, interesting and entertaining. In fact, the screenplay is woven with abundant humour to keep the audience thoroughly engaged. However, there are a couple of sore points in the screenplay. For one, Gattu is accused of filling the ears of Binny’s brother about Binny’s affair with Bhoora, but the fact is that he has not filled the ears – why would he? All Gattu can be accused of is that he did not clarify before Binny’s brother that Binny was not in a relationship with Bhoora. So, Binny’s sister telling Binny that Gattu was to be blamed for spilling the beans does not ring true. This point can’t be digested easily by the viewers because Binny, after this twist, decides to take the extreme step of giving her consent to marry Rahul instead of Gattu. Since the base of her decision is weak, the screenplay after this point rests on a shaky foun­dation. Secondly, Binny keeps ‘humilia­ting’ Gattu about his lack of guts, but this would’ve made an impact had an incident of far-reaching consequences been shown because of Gattu’s timid nature. Since nothing of that sort is shown, the viewers are unable to appreciate why Binny is making such a big hue and cry about Gattu’s guts. Actually, Gattu’s silence in front of Binny’s brother when the latter asks him about Bhoora could have been used as a springboard for Binny’s extreme action of agreeing to marry Rahul, but his silence is presented (before Binny) as Gattu having spilled the beans.

Having said that, it must be reiterated that the comedy keeps the audi­ence entertained throughout the drama and, on several occasions, even in splits. In particular, the entire drunken sequence between Gattu and Bhoora and later, between Gattu, Bhoora and Bhoora’s uncle is hilarious. Equally hilarious is the scene after Binny’s brother slaps Bhoora. Comparatively speaking, the climax is rather tame – maybe, because the issue (about ‘making’ every eligible bachelor, eyeing neighbourhood girls, their brothers) itself is so small and, if one may use the word, ‘frivolous’ in a sense.

Dialogues (by Vinit Vyas, Ajay K. Pannalal and Sanchit Gupta) are excellent and evoke a lot of laughter.

Rajkumar Rao performs excellently as Gattu Nautiyal. His acting is simply outstanding. His expressions and body language are to die for. But the audience will not wholeheartedly accept Rao in a romantic role as a solo hero in a commercial film. Shruti Haasan is good as Binny. Herry Tangri looks rather cute and lends terrific support as Bhoora. Darshan Jariwala is splendid in the role of Gattu’s father. His sense of timing in comic scenes is enviable. Ninad Kamat makes his presence amply felt. Gulshan Grover leaves a lovely mark as Bhoora’s father. Ranjeet stands his own as Bhoora’s uncle. Natasha Rastogi (as Gattu’s mother), Reena Agarwal (as Binny’s sister, Ritu), Bhavya Dutta (as Binny’s little brother, Ajju), Meenakshi Sethi (as Binny’s mother), Som Ganguly (as Raj), Lotty Eleric (as the aunt from the marriage bureau), Alekh Sangal (as Mahesh), Naresh Gosain (as Tirchhu Pehelwan) and the rest lend able support.

Ajay K. Pannalal’s direction is praiseworthy. For a maiden attempt especially, the director has done a praiseworthy job. Music (Jam8, Yash Narvekar, R.D. Burman, Rishi Rich and Amjad Nadeem) is okay. The parody Mata bhajan is very enjoyable. Lyrics (Bipin Das, Yash Narvekar, Amit Dhanani, Anand Bakshi, Raftaar and Rohit Sharma) are alright. Song picturisations (by Vishnu Deva) are fair. Jaidev Kumar’s background music is pretty impactful. Cinematography (by Viraj Sinh Gohil) is fairly nice. Farid Malik’s production designing is alright. Devendra Murdeshwar’s editing is crisp.

On the whole, Behen Hogi Teri is an enjoyable entertainer but the screenplay defects will keep it from realising its full potential at the box-office. Acceptance of Rajkumar Rao as a solo romantic hero in a commercial film also doesn’t seem probable. The chaalu title will keep the family audience away. Although its collections may pick up during the weekend due to the comedy, its terribly poor start will completely spoil the show.

About komalreviews

Am a film trade analyst, hence my reviews are from the box-office point of view
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